Binary Thumbs

I tried playing Halo 3 the other night. Oh dear.

I thought I’d start off gradually and selected difficulty mode “Easy”. “The game practically plays itself”, claimed the description of the easy mode setting. Nevertheless, I still managed to die.

Now, ok, I should have been wearing my glasses. My original comfy seat on the sofa, about 10′ away from my 40″ tv, was quickly replaced by perching on the edge of a seat about 3′ away, but still my right eye was tearing from trying to make sense of all the detail. But never mind all that. The ultimately frustrating thing about the game I found was the controls.

For those who have never played, it seems that the left analogue stick controls movement left/right/forward/back, while the right analogue stick turns you left/right and causes you to look up and down. These are all pretty crucial when trying to shoot some alien creature ducking behind a tree, 20 yards in front of you. That’s kind of what the game is about.

I’m afflicted with the terrible physical disability thumbus binaris – possibly as a result of hundreds of keyboard based games and over exposure to Playstation 1 games. My thumbs don’t do analogue. It’s left or right or nothing. There’s no slightly-little-bit-to-the-left-but-not-too-much, often required to nudge the sights just past the edge of the tree ready for the alien. No, I swing around at full force like a drunken muppet on ice. And usually while staring at the sky or the ground, leaving me wondering where the heck I am now.

This isn’t a new discovery. I seem to remember having the same kind of “fun” with Goldeneye on N64. This may also explain why I’ve been less inclined to invest in PS2, PS3 or XBOX gaming, compared to PC games. I’m ok with a keyboard and mouse.

Am I getting too old for these games? Maybe I should just quit whining and try it again.

I’m certainly not going to venture online in this game just yet!

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